Taking a lunch break with co-workers is a thing of the past; stopping what you’re doing at work to sit down at a table and eat with colleagues has almost become a luxury. Some companies don’t even have a spot within their building to eat on site meals together.
Let’s start off with all the reasons coworkers might NOT want to eat together. One might say, “eating with my peers is a waste of time”, or “it’s too costly to go out with work contacts when I’m on a budget and would prefer to prioritize other relationships”, or “less time spent at my desk during the day, requires more time spent after hours,” or even “taking time to eat with my co-workers leaves me distracted and negatively effects my productivity rate.” Sure, those points are heard; however, with a change in mindset, one will soon realize that the benefits outweigh the aforementioned concerns.
Diving into the benefits, there are many reasons coworkers should WANT to eat together. Shared meals with coworkers help to foster an intimate connection. An intimate connection leads to a deeper relationship. A deeper relationship is based upon a bond. That bond can be incredibly powerful and motivating, and leads to a more cohesive unit. Frankly, these kinds of relationships are required for long term professional success. Additionally, a defined break is proven to recharge one’s mind and body, actually boosting productivity. Such a “work break” among coworkers opens up communication; it can lend to a friendly tone in casual exchanges and respectful dialogue during stressful projects. Through connecting at mealtimes, one can also stay involved in workplace happenings, and establish a network per se.
Family relationships take effort, and so do professional relationships. If you do not feed them each the right nutrients, they cannot grow.
A few suggestions to be successful in efforts to eat with co-workers:
- Avoid spots with crowded loud, lines
- Select a sit-down location where you can hear one another
- Be aware of food allergies
- Be willing to join your co-worker for a mid-day coffee or accompany them on a walk to pick up a meal
- Plan co-worker food and drink outings in advance to accommodate different busy schedules
That being said, Sidewalk Food Tours checks the above five boxes, and makes for a great team building exercise in the cold or warm times!